Per Gessle on Nordic Rox – September 2023

Per Gessle and Sven Lindström recorded the next episode of Nordic Rox in Halmstad. They are featuring one of Per’s favourite bands from the ’60s, a Stockholm based band called Ola & The Janglers. Sven says here comes the 10,000 dollar question: what does jangler mean? PG hasn’t got a clue, but he thinks it sounds cool. Sven agrees. He says they know the „jingle jangle morning” that Dylan had in his lyric and he also thinks he saw some definition that the jangler was some person who was useless in doing something. Sven: „You know, he’s been jangling with this forever.” PG: „Like you.” Sven: „Haha. Exactly. Another version pointed out a guy like you, and that was the dark web version that a jangler was someone who kicked another guy in the balls.” PG: „Alright. Thank you very much.” Sven says that since they are from Sweden, they don’t actually have a clue, they just accept that the band is called Ola & The Janglers.

The guys start off with one of their favourite artists who is on repeat playing on Nordic Rox. It’s Adiam Dymott and the track is from her self-titled album from 2009 and it’s called Pizza.

Swedish ’90s pop, Fishtank by This Perfect Day comes next. It’s a great song, Per thinks, taken from their album C-60 from 1997. Sven asks Per what C-60 makes him think of. PG replies cassettes, of course.

The latest and greatest single from First Aid Kit called Turning Onto You is next. It’s taken from their latest album Palomino.

Before the guys sink their teeth into Ola & The Janglers, they take a look at Gyllene Tider and play Sunday Driver, Yea. The English lyrics to a song that Per wrote for his Swedish band. PG explains that the album is in Swedish, but one song was originally in English, so he decided to make an English version as well. Waking up the power pop monster that’s been dormant for a couple of years, Sven says. As they mentioned on the last show, the band has been on a successful tour around Sweden for 6-7 weeks, winding up doing some festivals in Finland and a big show in Norway as well.

Chris Craft No 9 by The Shanes comes next. The Shanes is a ’60s band from the northern part of Sweden. Sven thinks that this is one of the best original Swedish pop songs that came out in the ’60s. Mr. G thinks it still sounds good. Sven says no wonder, because it was recorded at the Abbey Road Studios. Per thinks it’s cool.

Endeavor by Timo Räisänen, a great indie track from the mid noughties is played next.

Speaking about cool bands, Ola & The Janglers from Stockholm, Sweden are today’s featured artist. The guys play 4 tracks from them that sort of paint a picture of what they were all about. Per says he liked this band a lot when he was a kid and he actually had their first album, Surprise Surprise. It was based on this old Rolling Stones song called Surprise Surprise. It was Ola & The Janglers’ first hit record in Sweden. It brought them into the Tio i topp show (Top10 show). That made them instant pop stars in Sweden in 1965. They were a great live band as well and had a very distinctive sound, because they had this Hammond organ, which was great. Johannes Olsson was an amazing player and they sounded really good. Most of the stuff they did was original material, but at the same time, many of their hits were cover versions. But they had a really, really gifted songwriter in the guitarist Claes af Geijerstam. He eventually became the front of house guy for ABBA. When ABBA did their world tours in the late ’70s, he was the front of house guy. And to add even more credentials, he won the Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden with another guy called Göran Fristorp in 1973. Sven says Per didn’t ask for that kind of information, but he got it anyway. Per says we could have lived without that. Haha. Here they play Surprise Surprise.

The second Ola & The Janglers song was written by Claes af Geijerstam. It’s a 1966 track called Bird’s Eye View Of You. Sven asks Per if he can remember listening to his transistor radio when this came on the air. PG can remember it, he definitely heard this song on the radio when he was young. This is from an album called Limelight and he had that album and loved it. It’s a really cool one, he thinks. Sven says the singer, Ola Håkansson was really original. He could sound a bit punky in the rocker numbers, but also being rather sweet in the ballads. He had this Mick Jagger style, Per adds. You could tell that he was influenced by Jagger. He went on to be the lead guy of the band called Secret Service in the ’80s. Eventually he became a record executive in charge of the TEN record label, which hosts, for instance, Sara Larsson these days. He worked a lot with Robyn as well. He never lost his magic hit touch, he is one of the big guys in the Swedish music industry.

The guys stick to 1966 when Ola & The Janglers were fresh out of school. Sven says Per claims 1966 is the best pop year ever. PG confirms and adds 1971 as well. Sven says he is not totally convinced. He claims 1965 is a contender, but they don’t go into that debate right now. Haha.

Ola & The Janglers made two albums in 1966. The second album was Patterns. It’s a great album too, Per thinks. They did a magnificent version of a Jackie DeShannon song. They actually did a couple of Jackie DeShannon songs, but this is Per’s favourite, Come And Stay With Me. A great track. You just get reminded what an amazing songwriter and artist Jackie DeShannon was. Per adds that when you hear this band, it’s a great little pop band. Johannes Olsson who played the Hammond organ made this great sound. It reminds you a little bit of The Zombies. Speaking of The Zombies, Ola & The Janglers did a version of She’s Not There very early on. They were heavily inspired by them. Sven likes the guitar sound here. By late 1965, the guitarist and songwriter Claes af Geijerstam had entered the band. He replaced the original guitarist. Sven thinks he does a really great guitar solo on this track. Per agrees. The ’60s guitar style is all over the place as well, so it just became a really, really good pop band.

Sven says 1966 was a great year for pop music and a very young Per Gessle who was glued to the transistor radio. Haha. The guys wind up the Ola & The Janglers tribute with a song from their first album written by guitar player Claes af Geijerstam. This one was a big hit, the first number one single they had in Sweden. Love Was On Your Mind is a beautiful little pop tune, Sven thinks. Per mentions that the band had an American hit in 1969. They did a cover version of Let’s Dance by Chris Montez and it peaked at No. 92 on the Billboard chart. One of the first Swedish artists entering the Billboard Hot 100.

Garage rock explosion delivered by The Peepshows in the shape of Cheap Thrills comes next. Then it’s Power Man And Astro Girl by Kristjan Eastman. Snack by Sydkraft from Halmstad, Sweden is played next. A short lived new wave band active in the late ’70s. The song title translates to something between hot air and pure bullshit.

Slowing things down a little bit, the guys play a beautiful cover of Broder Daniel’s Shoreline by Anna Ternheim. The Cat by True Lies, a band from Malmö is next and that wraps up this episode of Nordic Rox.

Cigarettes by Anita Lindblom closes the show, as usual.

Still is from the Bag of Trix comment videos recorded by Anders Roos.

Thanks for your support, Sven!